We're in the Play-offs!
Rommen, Oslo, August 20h 2022
Both the Pretenders and the Royals faced each other in a must-win double-header for both teams to clinch a play-off spot. Royals had to win both to have a chance while the Pretenders only needed one more win to secure a spot in the top 4 in September.....
After a somewhat shaky start with a brand-new squad in the first half of the season where the Pretenders went 2-4, they knew the rest of the season would be a very steep hill to climb if they wanted to get a spot in the Play-off. They knew they basically had to win 6 of the remaining 8 games to make this happen.
Their coach - Terje Hoaas - kept telling them before each double-header that "today is the most important day of the season - we need to win both games!" and the team responded every time with great intensity and dedication to make this possible!
Game 1: 15-1
With 5 wins in a row the Pretenders showed up confident and ready to clinch a play-off spot in another must-win double-header. With several key-players out on the Royals side due to injuries, the Pretenders took full advantage of the situation and took a 5-1 lead after the 2nd inning on only one hit - an RBI double by Ben Atkins. The rest of the squad got on base on 4 walks, a hit-by-pitch and 2 errors.
In the 3rd and 4th inning the Pretenders kept being aggressive and scored 5 runs in both innings on RBI singles by Greg Jamanila, Terje Hoaas and Ryan Goedecke - while Ben Atkins continued his great day with both an RBI single and triple (only a homer shy of a cycle).
On the mound Ai Narita dominated with 7 Ks over 5 innings with no walks (only one soft curveball hitting one batter) and no earned run. In the top of the 1st inning he finished off the inning with a spectacular pick-off move to get the runner out at 2nd base.
Game 2: 21-1
With the play-off spot already in their pocket you might think the Pretenders took it easy in game 2? Well think again! With Enrico Guerrini back in the line-up - after being away in game1 due to personal reasons - he continued where he left of from last weekend by going 3-5 in the game and 10-14 in the last two double-headers!
The whole team contributed at the plate in this game by taking a 16-0 lead after two innings and ended the game at a very comfortable 21-1 win in the end.
RBI double by Greg Jamanila (off 3rd base) and RBI singles by Ryan Goedecke, Terje Hoaas, Ben Atkins, Ai Narita and Enrico Guerrini were among the highlights.
On the mound Ty Tollestrup continued his great season by throwing 5 innings of a one-run-game with 3 strikeouts. He was two pitches away of an immaculate inning in the 4th as the first two batters went down on 3 strikes each but on the 0-1 count vs the 3rd batter of the inning he left if too much over the plate to let Andreas Lykke knocked it over the infield for a single.
The defense was very sharp as well with two more double-plays: Lukasz Trepczyk made one of the best plays of the year with a great 5,5-3 double play with no outs and the runners on 1st and 2nd to stop a possible rally in the 2nd inning. In the top of the 3rd Greg Jamanila made his own double-play by tagging the runner followed by a great throw to first for a 4,4-3 play. Right before this play Darren McKellep tried to make another double-play as he caught a flyball in left and gunned the ball back to first on a relay-throw, but Andreas Erga was not able to hold on to the ball at first as he got kneed in the glove-arm by the runner at first. Nevertheless a great effort.
With 7 wins in a row the Pretenders are now ready for the Play-offs on September 24-25th. The club is hosting the event at Rommen that weekend, so make sure to mark the dates in your calendar and come on out to help us win!
Best of the best:
Ben Atkins: 4-9 with a double, triple, 4 R and 6 RBIs
Ai Narita: 2-5 with 7 R , 3 SB and 3 RBIs, plus 5 IP with 7 Ks and no earned runs
Greg Jamanila: 3-6 with a double, 4 R, 4 SB and 2 RBIs
Ty Tollestrup: 5 IP with 3 Ks and 1 ER